Visual Arts

The Department of Fine and Performing Arts Visual Arts Program at Texas A&M International University, with its extensive curricula and well-rounded faculty, provides an enriching experience for aspiring artists and art teachers. Our program's mission is to enhance our student’s knowledge and appreciation of culture, art and their relationship to society, as well as self-realization. Beginning with a solid program in art foundations, students are encouraged to work in a variety of media to develop professional skills and creative, diverse portfolios.

Dedicated to student success, TAMIU’s visual arts program offers multiple opportunities for student gallery exhibition and access to professional artist exhibitions and demonstrations. We are committed to providing our students and community with gallery-quality exhibitions and international and national artist lectures. Many of our TAMIU alumni continue on to Graduate programs in Art and become successful art teachers in various Texas cities and towns. The visual arts program promotes many career possibilities for art majors, including commercial art and photography, advertising, and digital design. Our faculty mentor students and advise them throughout the process of creating professional portfolios and Curriculum Vitae, applying for employment, and pursuing further educational opportunities.

3D Studio Art

TAMIU’s three-dimensional studies focus on the process of construction with finishing techniques while encouraging material experimentation. Advanced coursework is grounded in conceptual concerns; emphasizing personal voice and expression when completing independent projects.

2D Studio Art

TAMIU offers foundation courses in Design I, Drawing I and II that provide an introduction to the visual language of art: the basic principles and elements of design used in all art. Drawing I focuses on observational drawing to develop competency in a variety of media as well as developing strong observational drawing skills. Drawing II serves as a transition to Advanced Drawing, encouraging students to improve observational and perceptual skills while exploring more conceptual, and non-traditional processes, along with self-expression.

Painting I is an introduction to a variety of basic painting techniques, color theory and their use in creating strong compositions. Intermediate Painting further develops technical proficiency in painting while also encouraging personal expression, and exploration of complex subjects and concepts involved in contemporary painting. Advanced Painting students’ self-motivated projects explore and develop personal approaches to painting with the goal of a cohesive, consistent body of work. In both Intermediate and Advanced painting, experimentation is encouraged.

Printmaking students are introduced to various methods and traditional techniques that include relief, calligraphy, drypoint etching, monotypes, and screen printing. Students will gain an understanding of the history of printmaking as well as contemporary applications of print in order to produce informed, well-crafted works.
Creative problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and self-confidence are gained through class discussion and critiques.

In all 2-D studio classes critical analysis of artwork is encouraged during class critiques and discussions. The students also develop the skills needed to critically self-analyze their own work, with an awareness of approaches and concepts of historical and contemporary art.

Illustration students create projects using both traditional and digital media for a variety of assignments covering basic categories of illustration in contemporary print and on-line media such as book illustration, as well as editorial and promotional illustration. In addition to our courses in Computers and Art and in Illustration, TAMIU offers multiple levels of instruction in Photography. Students explore 35mm photography and full-color digital photography.

Art History

The history of Art (“Art History”) is not a separate major at TAMIU, however, it is an integral part of the BA in Art, the ARTA degree (for teaching certification), and the Minor programs in Art. Over thirty percent of the coursework in the Art degree plan is comprised of Art History courses. There are many reasons for this, one being that art students should be conversant in many traditions of art, from the ancient to the contemporary. It is also the case that in today’s culture, art students should be able to read thoughtfully and to communicate well, both verbally and in writing, if they harbor any ambitions of displaying their work to significant effect in the art world, because “art" and “text” are inextricably and increasingly linked in today’s praxis. While the creative process is not always verbal or the result of linear, rational thinking, making sense of one’s art after the fact of its creation—and being able to progress subsequently as an artist—does involve some analytic ability and critical thinking. Studying Art History can thus provide an important dimension to any sustained, effective education in art today.

A two-semester survey of the history of Western Art—with some attention given to non-Western art traditions—provides the backbone to many university art degrees; TAMIU is no different. Upper-level coursework in our program concentrates on art of the modern epoch, largely from the later stages of the Baroque era to today. During this time span, not only did the styles associable with modern art develop; the very conditions for the creation of modern art and its reception in Western culture also began to emerge, well before famous modern artists like van Gogh and Picasso were even born; modernist styles (and later reactions to modernism) were only effectively possible once these historical conditions were in place.

Degree Plans

All art classes are offered every year, so there is no rotation over multiple years.

Marketable Skills

Upon graduation with the B.A. degree in art, the student will:

  • Apply problem-solving and troubleshooting skills to promote a high level of work ethic.
  • Choose an ambitious set of goals towards a successful, rewarding career path based on the skill set acquired in your college studies.
  • Demonstrate project management and time management skills with the goal of successful career development.
  • Apply adaptability, flexibility, and tolerance to uncertain and changing situations presented in your personal and professional life.


Department of Fine & Performing Arts
Center for the Fine & Performing Arts (FPA) 217
Phone: 956.326.2654

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